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The one with a NEW SERIES!

OMG. OMG GUYS.

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Ahh. I’ve been sitting on this news for a while, and have been so eager to announce it. And wouldn’t you know that when it’s actually announced, I am totally unprepared! So I’m rushing to put this post together, but I’m so excited that I can’t think straight!

So bear with me… we’ll start with the basics.

I SOLD A NEW SERIES!!!

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AND IT’S YA!!!!

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AND HIGH FANTASY!!!

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AND AHHHHHHHH!!!!

The deal was announced today on Publisher’s Weekly. The series is currently titled Stealing Storms, and the first book is called ROAR.

Roar announcement

Okay. Breathe. I’m breathing. Where to start?!

Let’s start with the genre.

Some of you might know that long before I ever put pen to paper and wrote Losing It, my first writing love was YA fantasy. The first book I ever finished was YA fantasy. The first book that ever got me an agent was YA fantasy. YA fantasy (of various kinds) is what I lived and breathed for five years before one summer I took a break to work on something different about an awkward girl in college who sort of accidentally nearly hooks up with her college professor. That book became far bigger than I ever could have imagined, and as a result I spent three years and many books writing New Adult romance. And I have had an absolute blast. And I have every intention to keep writing romance.

But I missed fantasy. I missed YA. If you’ve ever followed me on social media, you’ll note that I recommend far more fantasy and paranormal books than I do contemporary because it’s what I read the most. And my absolute FAVORITE thing to read, the thing I repeatedly ask for recommendations for, is high fantasy with a strong romantic plot (If you don’t recognize the term “high fantasy”- think books that take place in a fictional created world separate from our own– LOTR, GoT, etc). I’ve pretty much devoured anything put in front of me that meets that description. Some favorites include the Graceling series by Kristin Cashore, the Tairen Soul series by CL Wilson, Court of Thorn and Roses by Sarah J Maas, The Study series by Maria V Snyder, and more.

But as evidenced by the fact that I continually ask for recs, there just aren’t enough books out there like that in my opinion. And I have this pesky little character flaw in that when I want to read something and can’t find it… I HAVE to write it. I just can’t help myself. I did it with LOSING IT when I was craving funny NA amidst all the angst. I did it with INSPIRE when I wanted more paranormal amidst the contemporary. And now I’m doing it with ROAR. And it’s something I’ve been dreaming about for a long time, and I am just so excited and grateful that it’s finally happening. And I’m all weepy and emotional.

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I’m also INCREDIBLY excited to work with both Tor Teen and my editor, Whitney Ross. Whitney and I met a few years ago after she read LOSING IT, and I’ve pretty much thought she was the sweetest thing ever since then. And I love Tor’s books, and have heard fabulous things about them from authors on their list. And I’m just so excited to be writing high fantasy romance, guys! You can expect lots of swoon against a back drop of a new and different world that I am so in love with!

 

A little more about the story!

I grew up in Texas. I lost countless trampolines and bicycles and God knows what else to tornadoes as a child. I had a specific book that I read whenever there was a tornado and my parents stuck me and all our pets in a bathroom to hide (I read to our dogs. They loved it. Take my word for it). My middle sister desperately wanted to be a storm chaser when she grew up, so we watched countless storm movies (I’m looking at you, Twister and Devon Sawa in Night of the Twisters. Yeah,you).

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So I, as the younger sister, of course picked up the fascination. And it’s stuck with me for the rest of my life. I used to talk about writing a contemporary book about storm chasers, but I was nervous about getting the science right and had such a hectic writing schedule that I was never sure I had the time to do proper research. So I once jokingly mentioned I should write a fantasy book about magic storms, then I could just make up whatever I didn’t know.

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It was a joke. But then this idea began unraveling in my head about a world inundated with violent, magical storms that were almost like sentient beings. I thought about how storms like that would shape the culture and government and religion of the land. I imagined rulers with the ability to  control the storms. Then I added some kick ass storm chasers who hunt storms to siphon off magic to sell on the black market. And finally, I imagined a girl named Aurora, who was destined to become Queen and take over her family’s duty of protecting the land, but with one little problem. She’s yet to show any magical ability. And without it, she’s been roped into an arranged marriage in order to keep the power stable in her kingdom.

But even though she wasn’t born with magic, it’s possible to steal it. If you’re brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master. 

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So Aurora runs away with a group of storm chasers and becomes Roar, a storm chaser’s apprentice. She’s determined to look death in the eye and escape with enough magic to control her own future. But life, like the weather, is unpredictable. And she soon faces an impossible choice.

Queen or adventurer.

Duty or freedom.

Her Kingdom or the storm chaser she loves.

Rora or Roar.

Now about those storm chasers…

I AM SO EXCITED TO INTRODUCE THEM TO YOU. They’re this awesome, rag-tag group of misfits who are just crazy and brave enough to take on a very supernatural mother nature. And I mean, really…. you can’t get much hotter than a badass storm chaser for a hero. You’re imagining him in leather, aren’t you? Go ahead. I’ll wait.

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So that’s it!

That’s my news that I’ve been sitting on for months. I hope you’re as excited as me! In fact, you should probably go ahead and add it to read on Goodreads. Feel free to leave your excitement there too. Or ask any questions you might have in the Goodreads ask feature!

And for those who’ve been begging me for news about INFLICT (Inspire book #2), this is why I haven’t been able to give you an answer. Because the YA world moves more slowly than the digitally driven world of romance,  I have to get this book finished and ready to go much sooner than I normally do, and it’s required some rearranging of my schedule. So for the time being, I’ve been working on both this and Inflict. I still don’t have an exact date for you. But I can promise it will be this year. And hopefully I’ll have some more concrete news for you in the next month or so.

And one last shameless plug…

Two of my books are on sale!

Inspire is just $.99 today only as a Kobo daily deal!

Kobo https://goo.gl/FbVsRv

 

Also on…

And All Played Out is $1.99!

Okay now that’s really all! *tackle hugs for everyone*

With Awkward Love,

Cora

The One with MORE Mateo and Nell!

A few weeks ago, my street team organized an awesome All Played Out Read-a-thon, and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to revisit some of my favorite Rusk couples! I started out with a bonus scene about Carson and Dallas, which you can read HERE. Then I wrote a bonus scene about Silas and Dylan, which you can read HERE. And finally, last but certainly not least – a bonus scene about Mateo and Nell!

This scene is an expansion of sorts on the epilogue. And I’ve included both Mateo AND Nell’s POV.

*Please note: This is unedited. Sorry for any mistakes! ♥*

TORRES

Watching her, I feel proud and terrified all at once. That stage is her field. And her uniform—black robe, white collar, colored ropes marking her accomplishments, and square cap—it’s all strangely sexy, even that loose fitting robe. Because I know how easy it will be to slide my hand beneath it.
Not that that’s something I should be thinking about when I’m sitting next to Nell’s mother. Nell’s badass mother who could give Coach Cole a run for his money in the scary department.

I watch Nell climbing the steps up onto the platform where she’ll receive her diploma, and I swear my heart is lodged in my throat. We’re all clapping, and I want to yell, to scream—that’s what people would expect. Hell, it’s what I expected. I was looking forward to trying to spot the blush on her cheeks when I made sure everyone in this place knew that she belonged to me.

But now that it’s happening… I can’t seem to make a sound. She just… she’s everything I ever wanted. More, actually. And things are moving so fast. She’s graduating. I’ve got one more semester with her while she works, then the summer, and then she’ll be starting graduate school. And I just have to believe that what we have is strong enough, real enough to last.

“I knew I’d be on the verge of tears. But I didn’t expect it from you,” Her mother says, her smile sly.

I laugh, and it comes out hoarse, like I really had been crying. “I won’t tell if you won’t.”

As she shakes the dean’s hand and accepts her diploma, I finally find my voice enough to shout, “Yeah! That’s my girl!”

Her eyes flick up in my direction in the stands, and instead of blushing, she blows me a kiss, and I’m grinning like a fucking maniac.

“You’re not what I expected,” Nell’s mom says.

“Better, I hope. Because your daughter is never getting rid of me now. Not if I have anything to say about it.”

“She’s a smart girl. It’s her say that matters.”

On reflex, I start to reply that she’s more than smart… she’s a fucking genius. But I’m not sure how her mom will react to that particular endearment. So I smile and nod, and sit impatiently as hundreds of other graduates from Nell’s program cross the stage.

A brutal hour later, I see Nell outside, chatting with some of the people she knows from her classes. I run up behind her and scoop her into my arms. She squeals when I swing her around.

“Mateo!” Her fingers grip my forearms where they’re wrapped around her middle.

I set her down and she twists in my arms and leans in to hug me. I dip closer to her ear and say, “I’ll never get tired of hearing my name come out of your mouth.”

“Mateo,” she says again, a touch of warning in it this time, no doubt because her parents are behind me and my hand might be a little too close to her ass. But what can I say? I missed her.

Teasing, I slide my hand down another inch. “You know saying my name is never the way to get me to back off.”

She peels my hands off her body and laces our fingers together. “Later. Dinner with my parents. Then maybe we can spend some time in the library.”

I lift a brow. “The library, huh?”

“Well… I’m only at Rusk for one more semester. And I seem to recall one more list we never completed.”

“Does this list have six things on it?”

She grins. “It does.”

I don’t care that her parents are watching. I tug her forward and kiss her hard. Then whisper in her ear, “I love you, girl genius.”

****
NELL

It’s dark by the time we’ve finished celebrating with MY parents and returned them to their hotel room. I tell them that Mateo is taking me home, but we both know that’s not true. Excitement bubbles up in my belly at the thought of where we’re heading. Books and Mateo are pretty much my favorite things ever. And Mateo in the library? Irresistable.

But I Mateo doesn’t head to the parking lot nearest the library like I expect. Instead he chose one near the quad in the center of campus.

Suspicious, I narrow my eyes and ask, “What are you up to?”

Grinning, he puts the truck into park and pushes open his door. “Who me?”

“Mateo Torres,” I shout through the closed door. “You know how I feel about surprises. I like to know what I’m heading into.”

He rounds the front of the truck to open to my door, and he takes his time gripping my hips and helping me slide off the seat to stand in front of him. He says, “I definitely know all that. Just trust me… okay?”

Trust. I take a deep breath. I’ve trusted him with just about everything else in my life, I can give him this too. I’d give him just about anything.

He laces our fingers together and pulls me out of the parking lot and onto the sidewalk. We walk through the center of campus, past dorms and educational building, and we come to a stop at the very center of campus where the university seal is set into concrete and surround by flowers and trees and fountains. The seal has the original founding date of the university, along with the founder, school crest and school motto in Latin.

Confused, my eyebrows furrow and I look up at my boyfriend. He’s not one to typically care about school history. But he stops with us standing right at the center of the seal.

“Care to fill me in?” I ask.

He pulls our hands between us, his thumbs rubbing back and forth over my knuckles.

“You said that you like to know what you’re heading into. And that’s what I’m doing. I’m telling you what you’re heading into. We might have met here at Rusk, and it might be one the main things we have in common. But we won’t be here forever. In fact, you’re going to be leaving really, really soon. And before that happens, I need you to know that I’m in this. That this place won’t just be where I fell in love with you.” Those words never fail to make my heart beat faster, to make my stomach swoop with anticipation. He squeezes my hands and continues, “Someday, this is going to be the place that I ask you to spend the rest of your life with me. Then we’re going to get married because I won’t let you say anything but yes, and I’m going to bring you here and we’re going to climb Big Daddy Rusk, wedding dress and all.” Tears crest over my cheeks at the same time that I choke on a laugh. “And then a long time after that, we’ll bring our kids here, and we can stand on this seal, and tell them what this place means to us. That this school changed our lives by bringing us together. That’s where we’re heading. I may not know what will happen in a month or a year or five years down the road… but I know that.”

I can’t seem to get any words out. I’m a blubbering, crying mess, and let’s just blame on graduation and my family and this being a REALLY emotional day. So without words, I settle for throwing my arms around his neck and kissing him. And kissing him and kissing him until I can’t breathe.

His hands are tight on my hips, pulling me close against his large body, and it’s all so surreal. I cannot believe this man loves me. And that I love him. And that in all the chaos and horror and unknown in this wide world, we have somehow found this good and perfect thing together.

It defies all reason.

A whistle breaks us apart, followed by the glaring flick of a light over our faces. My eyes widen.

A security guard. Jumping out of a golf cart, heading our way.

Mateo grips my hand tight, and starts pulling me away, first at a fast walk and then a run.

“Why are we running?” I say, between huffing breaths.

“Did I not mention that the seal is part of the Sweet Six? They have a regular patrol that sweeps by to run people off.”

“Oh my God, you pervert! After all those sweet things you said, you wanted to have sex on that seal!”

He chuckles, pausing in our escape to grab me around the middle and swing me around, before setting me back on my feet and pulling me into a run once more.

“Oh, we’re gonna get that seal. But don’t worry. We’ll leave that part of the story out when we tell our kids.”

The One with MORE Silas and Dylan!!

A few weeks ago, my street team organized an awesome All Played Out Read-a-thon, and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to revisit some of my favorite Rusk couples! I started out with a bonus scene about Carson and Dallas, which you can read HERE. Next up: Silas and Dylan!

This scene is in Dylan’s POV, and it takes place after the events of All Played Out (not really any spoilers though). In it, I reintroduce a “character” that’s going to play a bigger role in the series moving forward.

Note: This scene is unedited. So any mistakes are my bad.

*********************************DYLAN**************************************

As I walk up the steps to Silas’s house, I hear a crash inside, people yelling, and then something shatters. My heart turns over in my chest, and I take the last few steps at a run.

Within the space of a few heartbeats, my mind conjures up all the likely causes of that crash. Silas is fighting again… but with who? Or maybe one of the guys was hurt in practice, and it made him clumsy. Or maybe it’s a burglar. I don’t bother knocking before I push my way inside, and then my heart doesn’t just turn over. It drops into my stomach like it’s been tied to an anchor.

The house is in shambles. Chairs overturned. The stuffing has been ripped out of one of the cushions on the couch. A lamp has been knocked off a table, and the glass from the broken light bulb surrounds it in a halo that glitters when the sunlight from the open door hits it. It reminds me of the scenes in movies where someone’s house is ripped apart because the bad guy is looking for something. And for a moment, I think of last week when Torres jokingly accused Brookes of working for the CIA for like the third time. That *was* a joke, right? Surely.

Dozens of scenarios run through my head, each one more elaborate and unlikely than the one before.

“Damn it, Moore! Grab him!” That was Brookes.

I turn toward the source of the noise in the kitchen, and catch sight of Torres sitting on the dining room table, laughing his ass off. And when I step through the archway into the room, I see why.

No CIA nonsense. No fighting. No injuries.

Nope. Just my incredibly gorgeous boyfriend, wrestling on the floor with an extremely hyper dog. The dog, a brown and gray Labrador/Cattle dog mix that I recognize from our local shelter, can’t seem to decide whether it wants to escape Silas’s grasp or lick his face, so he alternates between the two. If I remember correctly, this was the dog Silas named Bo Jackson the first time he helped out at the shelter with me. I watch as my boyfriend lays there, eyes and mouth tightly shut, hands pre-occupied with a squirming body, while the dog slobbers all over his face. I can’t stop the laugh that bubbles up in my throat, and then all attention snaps toward me.

A slobbery Silas on the ground, laughing Torres on the table, and a stern Brookes, who was picking up the larger glass pieces of whatever it was that had broken before I entered the house.

“Uhh… hey baby.”

I’m not used to seeing Silas look ridiculous. Intimidating? Always. Sexy? Enough to give me heart palpitations. But the expression he wears now—part embarrassment, part little boy with his hand caught in the cookie jar—is an entirely new Silas for me.

I cross the kitchen and kneel down beside him, and the dog goes wild, panting and wagging his tail, pushing his paws against Silas’s stomach to try and reach me. I scratch behind his ears, and he makes this adorable mewling sound in appreciation. After about a minute of scratching and petting, he settles down enough that he relaxes against Silas, laying his head down on his chest.

“Who knew Captain Planet could work miracles?” Torres says. “Should make that whole saving the world thing easier.”

I ignore him and focus on Silas. “Want to tell me why Bo Jackson is here tearing up your house instead of at the shelter?”

“I can’t get anyone to take him,” he says, and he’s strangely adorable in his defensiveness. “I keep trying to push him on people, but everything thinks he’s too big or too hyper.”

“That’s because he is too hyper,” Brookes mutters under his breath.

“I couldn’t stand looking at him in that cage anymore. And… this dog… he’s a part of our story, you know? He was just a puppy when I went to the shelter with you the first time. He reminds me of what it was like to fall for you, and I can’t just let him rot away in that place.”

“Awwww!” Torres says behind me, swinging his legs back and forth beneath the table like a child. “Did you hear that Brookes? That monster is part of their story. Who knew Moore was such a softy?”

“Shut up, Torres.” I’d thought the words had come from me, I’d certainly been ready to say them, but it’s Brookes who actually says them. “Like you’re not just as whipped as he is.”

“Hey! I didn’t bring home a dog who destroyed our house. I think I’m still winning here.”

“I went to the bathroom,” Silas says in exasperation. “How was I supposed to know he’d rip everything apart if I left him alone for a minute or two?”

My eyes widen. “He did all that damage in two minutes?”

“It was really more like ten,” Brookes explains.

“He’s a fast little sucker. it took us a little while to catch him.”

Unbelievable. Three college athletes can’t catch a dog.

“Well, he’s not really an indoors kind of pet. He needs space to run and play. Why didn’t you put him in the backyard?”

Silas glares at Torres. “Because there’s still a part of the fence that’s down, and Torres over there refuses to let us fix it.”

“Hey… if you can get a dog for sentimental reasons, I can like that broken fence. It’s part of *my* story.”

Brookes dumps the larger broken glass pieces in the trash, grabs a broom, and tosses it at Torres. “You’re both idiots. And the two of you can clean up the mess he made and decide how to keep him from making it again. Just figure your shit out.”

Brookes stalks out of the kitchen and Torres whistles. “Someone is moody. Think he’s jealous of the complete and utter perfection that is my love life?”

I roll my eyes, and rather than answering, I lift Bo Jackson into my arms so Silas can stand. He goes to the sink, splashing water on his face to clean off the slobber, and when he looks back at me, his long hair is stuck to his forehead and cheeks, and he’s back to being unequivocally sexy.

He crosses to me, and though he lifts a hand to scratch at Bo’s ears, his eyes never leave mine. There’s a vulnerability in his gaze that he only rarely shows me. And each time, it grips my heart so hard I think it might break.

“It was very sweet of you to want to take care of him.” He leans closer, until his forehead presses against mine, Bo wiggling between us.

“I just… when I think about our future. I picture a house with a yard. Maybe a kid or two… and this dog. I just do.”

“If football doesn’t work out,” Torres says, “You could always try for a career with Hallmark.”

“Shut up, Torres.” This time—the words come from both me and Silas.

Hopping off the table, he lifts his hands in surrender. “Yeah, yeah. Fine. Nell’s about to get off work anyway.”

As Torres leaves the kitchen, Silas yells after him, “That fence is getting fixed, Teo! Deal with it.”

His friend waves off his words, and slips out of the room, leaving just the two of us in the kitchen.

“I love you,” I tell him.

“Yeah?” He scratches a little harder at Bo’s ears, and the dog croons.

“Yeah.”

“I didn’t freak you out? With all the future talk?”

Rather than answering, I reach up and wrap one hand around his neck to pull his mouth down to mine. His answering kiss is hard, they always are after he’s let himself be vulnerable with me. He kisses with abandon, with a brutal passion that takes my breath away. Whatever his flaws are, you cannot say that Silas Moore doesn’t throw his whole heart into whatever he does.

Bo whines in complaint when he gets squished too hard between us. And when he jerks, I can’t keep hold of him with the one arm that’s not pre-occupied with Silas. He jumps to the floor and takes off. I try to go after him, but Silas tugs on my hair, slanting his mouth over mine again.

“We’ll catch him in a second. I’m not quite done with this pretty mouth.”

There’s a thud in the living room, and then another crash. After one last lingering kiss, Silas groans and curses as he pulls away.

“He’s part of our story,” I remind him, just a slight note of teasing in my voice as I plant one more quick kiss on his lips.

“Yeah, well, I was hoping fucking you on the kitchen counter could be part of our story.”

I laugh and push him away. “Another time.”

Then together (with one of his hands slipping down to squeeze my ass), we head off in search of Bo Jackson. Our dog.

The One with MORE Carson and Dallas!

A few weeks ago, my street team organized an All Played Out Read-a-thon, and I thought that was the perfect time to revisit some of my favorite Rusk couples. First up? Carson and Dallas. This bonus scene was posted in the read-a-thon, but if you missed it, here it is in all it’s swoon worthy glory!
This scene is unedited, so please forgive any mistakes. Song lyrics are in italics. Enjoy!

**************CARSON’S POV******************
Practice ends a little earlier than expected, so I text Dallas to see what she’s up to, then hop in the shower. By the time I’m out she still hasn’t replied, so I jump in my truck and swing by the new apartment she shares with Stella.

I don’t see Dallas’s little car. I do see both Stella and Ryan’s vehicles. Interesting. Maybe we should go to my place after I find her. We’ll leave those two to do… whatever they’re doing.

Sure enough, I catch sight of her car on my next stop. All alone in a nearly abandoned parking lot by the fine arts building. I pull my truck into the space next to hers and jump out. There’s one door that’s left open at all hours that students come and go through. It’s off around the side of the building and is mostly where the smoker’s hang out. But the dancers and actors and singers have rehearsals at all kinds of crazy hours, so they all use it after hours.

Once I’m inside, I head toward the dance rehearsal spaces from memory. Down a couple hallways, and then off to the right. As I get closer, I hear music, and I know without seeing her that it’s got to be Dallas.

The music is soft and pretty, but there’s an ache in it, a rawness that Dallas always seems to be attracted to. When I’m almost there, I hear her curse, followed by her stomping footsteps, and the song pauses, only to start over at the beginning.

I’ve just made it to the open doorway when she takes her starting position. She’s sitting down with her elbows on her knees and her head hung low.

Slowly, she starts to breathe, letting her whole body move in exaggeration with it, and I imagine it’s timed to the beat of her heart.

This heart is tired and old.

She stretches and twists her body, like she’s slept too long and it’s painful to wake up. Then she rolls gracefully to her feet.

This heart is charcoal and cold.

Her hand pulses over her heart before she does a single spin and ends with her arms wrapped around her middle, shivering.

I know this is what she loves, and God knows she’s brilliant at it. There’s such an effortless beauty to her movement. But she embodies the emotion so completely that it’s hard for me to watch.
The song talks about giving up and giving in, and even as she spins and jumps, she looks moments away from collapsing, from folding in on herself. And this pit opens up in my stomach, and I have to grip the doorjamb hard to keep from interrupting her. I want to pull her into my arms and take away whatever hurt lets her dance like this. I don’t want her to know that kind of grief.

She stretches one leg up behind her. An arabesque I think is what she calls it. But I’ve only ever seen her do it about waist high. This time she pushes it higher, her body tense and still, and I can’t help but marvel at her control. She’s so fucking strong. She starts to lose her balance, and her leg jerks, she hops to try and save it, but it’s too late.

She drops her leg and groans in frustration and digs her fingers into her hair. I take that as my cue to step in and say, “Hey.”

She looks up and gives me a brilliant, albeit tired, smile. It almost completely pushes out the vulnerability she’d had in the dance. Almost.

I cross toward her, slipping off my shoes first so I don’t mess up the floor with my boots. “That looked hard,” I say, referencing that last move.

She frowns, and I wish I hadn’t said anything. “It is. I’ve done it before. At the conservatory this summer. But I can’t seem to get it here.”

I step up in front of her, pushing aside some hair that’s stuck on her forehead. “You’ll get it.”

She shakes her head. “I should have worked harder to keep all the gains I made there. I’ve been lazy. I let myself go.”

“Hey, stop that.” I slip my hand around the back of her neck, underneath the curtain of her hair.

She tries to pull away, saying, “I’m all sweaty and gross.”

I hold tight, refusing to let her slip away. “Sweaty, yes. But I don’t find you the least bit gross.” To prove my point, I dip my head and drag my lips over her collarbone, pausing at the curve between her neck and shoulder to taste the salt on her skin.

Her hands find my waist, and she grabs hold of me, anchoring herself. And that’s what I want to be for her. Always. I want to be the thing that keeps her steady and strong and still.

“Thanks,” she murmurs. And I’m not sure what exactly she’s thanking me for.

“How high you can get your leg isn’t what makes you a great dancer, Dallas. It’s part of it, sure. But I promise… when that music plays, people aren’t watching how perfect your technique is. They’re watching you dance as if you’re holding your heart right there in the palm of your hands, offering up everything you’ve got to the music. I may not know much about dance. But I know that that… what you were doing there before you stopped? That was fucking gorgeous.”

She slumps wearily into me, but her arms wind tightly around my middle for a hug. I return it, squeezing her a little tighter than I probably should.

When she pulls back, I smile and say, “Why don’t you try it again? With me here to help you keep your balance this time?”

She laughs. “You’re going to be my barre again?”

“Always.”

I step far enough away to give her space, and after a deep breath, she closes her eyes and begins lifting her leg. She gets it to the usual spot with no problem. Then after a few seconds pause, she starts to push it higher, her upper body angling forward a little more. When I see her start to strain, her center faltering, I step up and steady her with my hands on her hips.

“You got it. I won’t let you fall.”

She takes another deep breath, and with me still holding her, she lifts her leg even higher, so that her foot is as high as my shoulder. I get distracted by the length of her legs, which in my defense, are pretty damn amazing.

And after nearly thirty seconds watching her hold that position, I lose the last of my self control and let two fingers trail from her thigh to the sensitive area behind her knee.

She jumps, and I slip my other hand from her hip to her stomach, cradling her.

“So this is why you wanted to help,” she says, slightly out of breath.

“My intentions were entirely gentlemanly.”

She lowers her leg to the floor, and when she straightens her body, I’ve still got my hand low on her belly and she looks at me over her shoulder.

“Were?”

“You know your legs are my weakness. Once I start thinking about how they feel wrapped around me, I can’t be held responsible for my actions.”

“You know, if you took up dance, you could be my partner. It’s pretty common in duets for the male dancer to hold the female with her legs wrapped around his waist.”

She gives me a sly smile, and whatever patience I had left goes out the window. I pick her up by the waist and slam my mouth into hers, and she wastes no time curling her legs around me.

Against her lips, I murmur, “I think I’m going to need to practice this move a lot.”

She laughs softly, her breath fanning over my mouth. “Practice does make perfect.”

(SWOOON. I MISS THESE GUYS SO MUCH. I LOVE THEM).

The One Where ALL PLAYED OUT is Here!!!!

We’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting…and it’s FINALLY the best #TorresTuesday ever, because ALL PLAYED OUT IS HEEEEEERREE!!!!!

If you’re wondering what all the excitement is about….All Played Out is the third book in my Rusk University series! It’s available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks and hopefully at your local bookstore! (Note: If you can’t find it in your bookstore, don’t be afraid to ask. Sometimes they can be slow about putting books out on time, and it might just be sitting in the back room waiting for someone like you to ask). You can also add it on Goodreads! Here’s a little more info, if you’re curious. 🙂

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ALL PLAYED OUT
by Cora Carmack

First person in her family to go to college? CHECK.
Straight A’s? CHECK.
On track to graduate early? CHECK.
Social life? …..yeah, about that….

With just a few weeks until she graduates, Antonella DeLuca’s beginning to worry that maybe she hasn’t had the full college experience. (Okay… Scratch that. She knows she hasn’t had the full college experience).

So Nell does a smart, dedicated girl like herself does best. She makes a “to do” list of normal college activities.

Item #1? Hook up with a jock.

Rusk University wide receiver Mateo Torres practically wrote the playbook for normal college living. When he’s not on the field, he excels at partying, girls, and more partying. As long as he keeps things light and easy, it’s impossible to get hurt… again. But something about the quiet, shy, sexy-as-hell Nell gets under his skin, and when he learns about her list, he makes it his mission to help her complete it.

Torres is the definition of confident (And sexy. And wild), and he opens up a side of Nell that she’s never known.  But as they begin to check off each crazy, exciting, *normal* item, Nell finds that her frivolous list leads to something more serious than she bargained for. And while Torres is used to taking risks on the field, he has to decide if he’s willing to take the chance when it’s more than just a game.

Together they will have to decide if what they have is just part of the experiment or a chance at something real.

*********

EEEEEEEEEEEEEP!!! I am SO unspeakably excited for you guys to read this book! I think Mateo Torres miiiiight be my favorite book boyfriend I have ever written. EVER. I know, those are fighting words, but seriously….I love him so muchIn part, it’s because he’s totally the kind of guy I would date in real life. Hilarious and bold and maybe just a little perverted. I still act like a kid most days, and I like a guy who can be playful, but then also turn on the serious and sexy when the occasion calls for it. He’s also just so different from all the other guys I’ve written, and it was really fun to tackle a character that felt completely fresh to me. And when you dig a little deeper past his outlandish exterior, Torres has fears and insecurities that I think will be familiar to a lot of people. And something about that combination of humor and vulnerability just makes him very real and very human in my head.

Not to mention Nell. NELL! Gah… she’s definitely one of my favorite heroines. She’s quirky and smart and anti-social. And I love that she always says exactly what pops into her head with no thought to what is cool or attractive. She’s an extremely logical girl, and to watch her tackle college as if it were a math problem to solve was just a blast to write.

And of course you’ll get to see the rest of the Rusk University gang! You’ll see Dallas and Carson again. The book even opens with a half-naked Silas (you’re welcome). And we get to see more of Stella and Ryan and Brookes and Matty too!

To help celebrate the release of All Played Out, the Carmcats (my amazing street team) have put together an AWESOME photo challenge!

11055312_10204392784364228_3861150698274981921_nYou can participate by posting a picture fitting each day’s theme on your social media accounts and using the hashtag #APOPhotoChallenge. The photo challenge has been going for a week, but it’s not too late for you to join in…just pick up with today’s prompt (or feel free to play catch up on the ones you’ve missed)! All week, I’m randomly selecting winners from the #APOPhotoChallenge hashtag to win prizes (gift cards, ebooks, signed swag, books, and… one lucky winner will get Mateo Torres’ official Rusk Football t-shirt)!

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(In case you missed it: Here’s MY current bucket list!)

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And of course, what would Release Day be without a GIVEAWAYYYYYY?!? One of you lovely, lucky people is going to win a signed set of Rusk University paperbacks (that’s All Lined Up, All Broke Down, AND All Played Out) as well as a super cozy Rusk University Sweatshirt!!

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There are lots of different ways to enter, and this giveaway is open internationally! Ends two weeks from today! And if you like that sweatshirt, you’re definitely going to want to keep an eye on this blog and my social media over the next week or so. We’re almost ready to open the official Rusk University store, which will have everything you could possibly need to pretend that Rusk is real! 😉

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you pick up the book today, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. And if you’ve got time to leave a review on your favorite online retailer, I would REALLY appreciate it. Reviews are more important than you know. They help raise a book’s visibility and can help someone who’s unsure decide whether or not to buy the book. AND…. if you want to know what’s next in the Rusk University series, be sure to check out this post about book four (Stella’s Book!) and add it on Goodreads.

Love you guys SO much! And if you want to Tweet or Facebook or Insta me pics of you with your copy of the book, I sure wouldn’t hate it! 😀
Cora <3 <3 <3

The One with the All Played Out Street Team!!!

It’s that time again…time to announce the newest batch of Carmcats!!

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I know I say this every time we do the street team application thing, but you guys…..this was SUCH A HARD DECISION.  We had so many amazing applications, and as I was looking through them all, trying to narrow them down, I was basically like this the whole time:

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SUCH A MESS.

Once again, I was absolutely floored by the amount of diversity and talent within the applications. With each new application I read, I grew more and more distraught because I KNEW I would have to make some cuts but I didn’t know how. And it doesn’t help that I’m the most indecisive person EVER. It soon became glaringly obvious that I needed to call for back up.

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With help from some of my publishing peeps, we narrowed it down as much as we could. But even then…. it wasn’t enough. In fact… I eventually ended up expanding the number of people we planned for the team because it was just too hard. And even then… I still had to say goodbye to some applications (and people that I love). People whose names I recognize from regular chats on twitter or Facebook. People that I ADORE. And I’ll never be able to tell you all how hard that was. But please know that if you didn’t make the team… I likely agonized over it. For days probably. Every time I would strike a name off my list… I would inevitably add it back in twenty minutes later. We especially had a lot of AMAZING international applications this time around. But for logistic and financial reasons, I’m limited in the number of international people I can choose. But in the end, I think we put together a team that I’m really proud of and excited for.

And I hope that you all will consider reapplying whenever it’s time for Stella’s Book!

So, without further ado….the new Rusk University/All Played Out/Cora Carmack Street Team!

Megan Gallt
Stephanie Gibson
Amber Noffke
Kristen Chandler
Lori Wilt
Yvette Cervera
Brooke DelVecchio
Katie Stutz
Krista Davis
Yesi Cavazos
Lenore Mullican
Brittany Berger
Momo Xiong
Katie Anderson
Jen Fisher
Ana Rodriguez
Pavan
Kassidy Carter
Jenni McDaniel
Zara Hoffman
Mary Hinson
Carmen Seda
Michelle Tan
Emilie Couture
Sydney Laws
Kayla Ritenour
Genesis
Ashlei Davison
Ashley Willard
Jamie Arkin
Patricia
Rebecca Hughes
Teresa
Kimberly Dodd

If you made the team, OMGCONGRATULATIONSILOVEYOUTHANKYOU!!! I’m out of town this weekend for Apollycon, so you likely won’t hear from me for a couple days. But as I mentioned in the application post, we’re doing something different this time around, and we’ve assigned all new members a mentor! A big to your little, if you will. So while it might take me a few days to get organized and reach out to you all, you might hear from your big or see them lurking around figuring out more about you.

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And again, if you didn’t make the team this time around, PLEASE know that I love and adore you, and it KILLS me that we had to let some of you go. If I’d had my way, we’d just have one gigantic team of AWESOMENESS. <3

To say thank you for applying….how about a little #AllPlayedOut teaser? 🙂

********************

“I need you to add something else to your list.”

I raise my eyebrows and ask, “What?”

What was this about? Surely this isn’t about the Sweet Six thing again, not after how poorly things went in the stacks.

“I want you to add ‘Have the best orgasm of your life.’”

I drop his pen. I very nearly drop my spiral.

“You want … what?”

“You heard me, Nell. Now add it.”

He’s back to the dominant Mateo that comes out when he’s kissing me, and the ache he’d started back in the library flares to life between one breath and the next. I reach for the pen, but I’m too distracted by what this could mean.

So we’re not over? He still wants me? How could he still want me? My heartbeat speeds up as I mentally dissect our evening up until this point, and when it takes me too long to find the pen, he growls, “Oh, fuck it. Add it to the damn list later.”

He grabs the spiral and tosses it into the passenger seat. I sit up, and he pulls at the stretchy fabric on the thigh of my yoga pants, letting it snap back against my skin.

“Take those off.”

*evil grin*

The One Where You Can Join My Team…3.0!!

Do you guys remember back in March 2014, when I introduced you all to the wonderful members of my All Lined Up Street Team?
What about in July, when I got to show off the members of my All Broke Down Street Team?
Well, the time has come to start promoting the next book in the Rusk University series, All Played Out!
All Played Out by Cora Carmack
And once again, we think it’s time to add some new readers to the mix!
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A street team is the ultimate set of super readers. I’m looking for people who’ve read all my books, and love my characters, and are eager for my next fictional journey! A street team helps spread the word about an author’s books– online, in person, and IN SPACE.
The Rusk University Street Team (aka “The Carmcats”) was absolutely invaluable to me during the lead up and release week of All Lined Up and All Broke Down. Like… they redefined invaluable. Seriously.
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The former teams have done everything from making graphics, designing the Rusk logo, hosting giveaways, brainstorming marketing ideas, and spreading the word about my books like a plague (a plague of AWESOMENESS). They went above and beyond to host the release day Facebook parties, and basically kept me from losing my mind during a (very exciting, but still very) stressful time.  And they are some of the funniest, kindest, most generous, most encouraging people I have ever met – I want to carry each and everyone one of them with me everywhere I go. Seriously… I cannot sing their praises enough. Because beyond all the awesome things they did for the book, the team means a great deal to me personally. By keeping the team small and requiring people to apply instead of just join a Facebook group, we’ve been able to foster a sense of family within the group. We talk about much more than my books. We talk about other books we love. We talk about our lives– the good and the bad. We talk about the delirious and weird things that come up when we’re all staying up way too late.
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And that’s the most important thing I want to maintain as we say goodbye to some old members of the team and add new members. I want to make sure the new members feel welcome, and that this is the absolutely coolest street team around. So with that in mind, we’ve decided to do something different this time. Half of the All Played Out team will consist of former members of the team. And each of them will have a new Carmcat that they mentor. Sort of the Big/Little scenarios you see with sororities and other groups. We think this will help the group become even closer, faster, and really make for the best team yet!
Interested? Here’s some more details:

It’s a big time commitment to be part of this street team (not just because you’ll be helping me, but also because our exclusive street team Facebook group is an incredibly fun place to hang out and ignore the rest of the world). APO releases May 12th. So don’t apply unless you think you’ll have the free time to help support the release.

Here’s what’s in it for you:

  • Exclusive giveaways ONLY for street team members. ARCs, swag, signed copies, and other special stuff. Your odds of winning are MUCH better than when competing with the masses.
  • Exclusive content and news. When a new book is releasing or I’m writing a new project, you guys will be the first to hear about it! You’ll also be the first people I torture tease with excerpts!
  • Swag for you! Swag for your friends! Swag for strangers you bombard on the street! You shall be the swag queens (or kings… I’m looking at you, rare and exotic male fan. We’ve already had one dude reader on the team, here’s hoping for more).
  • Every active street team member’s name will appear in the acknowledgments of my books. Show all your friends how important and beloved you are! Plus, I sometimes steal street team members names when I’m creating characters. Just saying. 🙂
  • Membership in the exclusive street team Facebook group! Here you can chat with other team members, brainstorm promotional ideas, and hang out with me! I’ll pop in for exclusive street team chats and hang outs (and by pop in, I mean I spend entirely too much time procrastinating there). Not to mention I might pick your brain about books and characters you’d like to see. 😉
  • ***One extra lucky Street Team member will get to join me as my assistant at an upcoming signing in 2015 or 2016! I’ll take care of your flight and hotel, and we’ll just hang out, meet book people, and bask in our awkward goodness.
As a street team member, there’s lots of things you can do to help my books succeed. You don’t have to do them all…at least not at the same time. And this is far from an all-inclusive list, but rather some suggestions to give you an idea of how we might need you to promote All Played Out.

In person you can…

  • Talk the books up and share promo material with friends, family, co-workers, and book clubs. You can even drop off promo materials at bookstores, libraries, coffee shops, etc. 
  • Buy my books the first week of release, which helps it get more visibility, thereby selling more books
  • Ask your local library to order my books. Give the librarians the title, name and publisher of each book. In the same vein, ask your local bookstore to stock my books if they don’t already. 

Online you can…

  • Share your (honest) review/rating of the book via Amazon, iBooks, BN.com, and Goodreads. I can’t even begin to express how big a deal this is in terms of discoverability for new books. 
  • Share interviews, reviews, cover reveals, and other promotional events across your social media and online platforms (Blogs, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, etc)
  • Spread the word about my books to your online friends and followers. 
  • “Like” my books and me on Amazon.com & BN.com
  • Like, Retweet, and Share whenever/whatever you can!
  • Recommend the books on Goodreads and elsewhere. As readers, you wield so much influence. And every little bit helps! 
  • Participate in online Publicity and Marketing campaigns (Blog tours, FB parties, cover reveals, etc). 
If you need a little more persuading, check out this video that my street team made for the All Broke Down Street Team recruitment (just pretend it says “All Played Out”, lol.)

And I realize that some of you have applied for the team before, and not made the cut. Believe me when I say that choosing these street teams are the HARDEST thing I have to do as an author. I always reach a point where I can’t narrow it down anymore because I love everyone, and I have to bring in other people from my publicity team to help make the final few decisions. And those decisions are often very strategic. We’ve turned away some AMAZING applications because we were just looking for something different. We don’t always just look for the biggest following. We try to diversify the team as much as possible. Some Carmcats are more heavily involved on Facebook, some on Tumblr, some on Twitter, some on Pinterest. Some of you have been so close to making the cut… both times! But for one reason or another, it didn’t work out. I hope that you will consider re-applying again this time. I can’t promise that you’ll make the team, but I can say that I’ll be paying special attention to those who have applied in the past, and are still eager to join the team. I’m so grateful for everyone who cares enough to fill out the application and put themselves out there.

 

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***APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED***
It will take us some time to go through them all, but we’ll announce the team as quickly as possible.
Thank you all so much for your continued support and love! I adore you!
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Football Friday: the whole Rusk University Gang + A Giveaway!

ALL BROKE DOWN has been out in the wild for about four days….and for those four days, all I’ve wanted to do is tacklehug each and every one of you. 




All Broke Down is book #2 in the Rusk University series, and you can order it on Amazon , Barnes & Noble , or iBooks! Or find it in your local bookstore! You can also add it on Goodreads! You’ve already met Silas Moore and Dylan Brenner, and now that the book is out, I thought we could just reminisce about the people we’ve met so far. 




I’ve loved writing all of my books, but in the Losing It series, everyone graduated and went their separate ways. Though they still made small appearances in each other’s books, they mostly led their own lives. The Rusk series in entirely different. The secondary characters are a huge part of these books.  Each story relates in some way to the football team and the community that surrounds it. So not only do you get to know the characters BEFORE their books, you also get to see them frequently after their stories have been told. 

First there was Dallas and Carson, who you got to know in All Lined Up. Dallas in honest and spunky, and spent her life in the shadow of football thanks to her father, Coach Cole. As a couple, they fit together so well and are good friends (not just boyfriend and girlfriend). I sort of see them as the nucleus of the group. They keep everyone else grounded (and in control… mostly). 

That’s Carson’s job on the team too as quarterback. He’s the leader, and he sort of brings everyone together. And it’s a big job. He’s got Silas, who is supposed to be a leader too, but has a knack for causing as much trouble as he diffuses. Then there’s Torres (who might possibly be my favorite character ever). He’s wild and funny and completely shameless. It’s a different sort of confidence than the typical romantic hero has. Because he’s willing (and quite able) to make a fool of himself on a regular basis. And there’s a strange sort of charm in that. Luckily, Carson has some help keeping those two in line. His friend Ryan is a manager on the team, and though he can be a tad silly like Torres, he’s usually pretty good for some straight talk. Brookes rounds out the football guys. He’s quieter, his personality isn’t as out there as those of his friends. But he’s thoughtful, and he has a knack for reading people (I also love him). I JUST LOVE THEM ALL, OKAY? 

And then there’s the coaches too! I’ve already mentioned Coach Cole, but I think he deserves another mention. He’s this great mix of gruff hard-ass and loving supporter. He’s not so good with the emotions. He’s better at yelling and ordering people around, but that makes it all the more meaningful when he does show emotion. In writing All Broke Down, I also found myself falling in love with another Coach on the Staff– Coach Oscar (or Oz). He’s the strength and conditioning Coach, and he’s the youngest guy on staff. As such, he feels the need to be particularly tough so the guys take him seriously. You can probably expect to see more of him as the series carries on. 


Then there are the non-football people in this cast of characters. And I love them just as much as I do my athletes and coaches. First, there’s Stella. She was Dallas’s best friend in All Lined Up, and she quickly won over my heart. She’s just got that extra something about her. She gets along with everyone. She always knows what to say. She’s pretty much the coolest chick ever. 

Dylan and Nell and Matt are three brand new additions in All Broke Down. Dylan is a student activist, and she finds herself drawn to Silas (who is her total opposite). Nell (or Antonella) is her roommate. We just get brief glimpses of her in All Broke Down, but she’s the incredibly serious and studious type. Matt… ah, he’s another favorite. He’s this vibrant guy that knows Dylan through her activism work. As Dylan describes him, he’s basically a “Disney prince. If Disney made bearded, bisexual princes.” He’s hilarious and spontaneous, and has some of my favorite moments in All Broke Down. 

So that’s my cast of characters. But I know what you’re all really wondering is… 

Who is going to get their own book? 


At this moment in time, I can promise you very few things. I signed a three book deal with my publisher, but hopefully we’ll be continuing on the series for a few more books at least. But a lot of that just depends. Publishing is a business first, and the better the current books sell, the more likely the publisher is to be excited to continue the Rusk series. So if you love the books, recommend them to your friends! 

Here are a few things I can tell you: 


  • Book Three is called ALL PLAYED OUT! It’s set to be out a little over six months from now in May. You can already add it on goodreads here. It’s about Torres and Nell. And guys… it was SUCH a blast to write (like I expected anything less of Torres). She’s straight-laced and focused, and he’s wild and spontaneous. And when she creates a bucket list to attempt to loosen up during her last few months before she graduates, he’s the perfect person to help her step out of her normal boundaries (or you know… just blow them to smithereens). It’s funny and sexy, and I can’t wait for you guys to read it. 
  • And just for you guys… here’s a sneak peek at the VERY FIRST lines of the book (in Nell’s POV): 
  • “There’s a half-naked man in my kitchen. Well, honestly, he’s more like 90% naked with just a pair of black boxer briefs that fit very snugly. So, snugly in fact, that I’m going to round up to 95% naked.”
    Teeheehee. You can also pre-order All Played Out now
  • If you were paying attention, you might remember that once upon a time, I said book three was going to be about Ryan. GUILTY. I totally said that. Because it’s what I thought. From the very beginning I envisioned this series having at least four books– Dallas, then Silas, then Ryan, and then Stella. I had clear ideas for each book from the outset. Then my sister read All Lined Up as my first reader and said, “Are Ryan and Stella going to get together?” I told her no. I loved Ryan and Stella both, but I thought they were too much alike. They were just better off as friends (who okay… flirted a lot). I went back in during copy edits, and even made a few adjustment to the book to hopefully make it more apparent that that’s all they would ever be. And yet, when the book hit the shelves, one of the first questions I started getting was– “Are Ryan and Stella going to get a book?” I sort of cagily answered yes, but didn’t really tell people that I had every intention of giving them separate books. I was determined. I had a vision, and I was going to stick to it! Then I wrote All Broke Down, and I started to waver. Stella ended up forcing her way into that storyline in a way I hadn’t originally intended, but once the idea had come to me, I couldn’t get it out of my head. And as I wrote the book, I could feel that vision I had shifting. My characters had become so large in my head, so real that they were acting independently of me. So one day I emailed my editor and said, “Okay. I was wrong. Ryan and Stella are supposed to be together.” And that left me scrambling to re-imagine the rest of the series in my head. Conveniently, I had become rather enamored with Torres (as he has a tendency to steal the show a bit in ABD), so he was the perfect replacement for the Bucket List book that I had originally intended to be Ryan’s. 
  • So now you’re probably wondering– will Ryan and Stella get their book? And the answer is yes.  Whatever I have to do to make that book happen, I will. I promise. Ideally, it will still come through my publisher and they’ll want to continue the series as I said. But whatever happens, I will make sure their story is told. Speaking of Stella… if you’ve read All Broke Down… you might have some questions for me. But those questions are definitely of a spoiler-y nature. So, I’m going to answer them as vaguely as I can here (highlight below to see ONLY IF YOU HAVE READ THE BOOK. WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS BELOW):                       
  • SERIOUSLY DON’T READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN’T READ ALL BROKE DOWN. So… like I mentioned above… I didn’t originally plan for Stella’s to have such a big role in All Broke Down. But I loved her so much that she just kept showing up. I don’t typically plot my books. I know the beginning and a general direction, but then I let my characters lead me. But one thing that’s important to me with this series is to give a truthful portrayal of Texas football… the good and the bad. And unfortunately, you only have to have kept up with the news to know that far too often athletes get away with behavior that normal people never would. And having grown up in the heart of football country, I’ve seen first hand the way athletes can get special treatment or the way people are willing to sweep things under the rug in the name of their “greater good” ie- the team. In particular, there’s a long history of athletes getting into trouble (or more correctly, not getting into trouble) for the kind of thing that happens at the end of All Broke Down. I was writing this book while one such event was prominent in the news. And once the idea of working it into ABD occurred to me, I could think of nothing else. It gripped me. Refused to let me see the story any other way. And the moment I began to seriously consider it… I remember, I was sitting on my couch, and I just started bawling. Because I knew how and to whom it was going to occur. I tried to resist at first because I hated myself for it. Knew some of you would hate me for it too. But like I said… sometimes characters become bigger and more real in your head. Sometimes they tell me what their story is going to be. And that’s what happened with Stella. The end of All Broke Down was just the beginning of what will be a long journey for her. I know that her story is left unresolved. I know that. But I couldn’t pretty that up with a happy ending. I refused to, actually. I know that ending was jarring and upsetting. It was meant to be. Far too many stories like Stella’s are forever left unresolved and without justice, a staggering percentage in fact. And that’s the story she wanted me to tell. Not just the physical and emotional impact of the occurrence itself, but the impact of everything that happens (and doesn’t happen) afterward. So if I broke your heart at the end of ABD, I’m sorry. Know that I broke my own heart first. But I hope you’ll trust me to take care of this character that we all love. Trust that I don’t tell her story lightly. 
  • Okie dokie. Sorry. That spoiler-y thing ended up taking longer to say than I thought. STILL DON’T READ IT IF YOU HAVEN’T FINISHED ABD! So yeah, that’s all I can promise you for the moment. Do I have ideas for other characters in the Rusk series? Yes. Can I say for certain that those ideas will become books? No. But I hope. 🙂 
  • (P.S. If you’re bummed that you have to wait until May for the next Rusk University book, make sure you check out the brand new series I have starting with INSPIRE on Dec 15th! That’s MUCH sooner! 🙂 You can read all about it here).

    So there you have it! Those are all the major players in the Rusk University series, and everything I can tell you about the future of these books. I hope you’re all enjoying catching the #SilasVirus, and thank you so much for all your kind tweets and messages! The response to this book so far has been so overwhelming and so heart-warming, and I can never thank you enough. <3


    BUT I SHALL TRY WITH THIS FINAL EPIC GIVEAWAY!!! 
    Win a signed set of the entire Losing It series (including the novellas) and All Lined up! 
    Open internationally. 





    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    The One with ALL the All Broke Down things!!

     Happy October, everyone! I love this month. 
    October 15th will mark my two year anniversary in publishing. It’s crazy to me… CRAZY… that it’s only been two years. I’ve met so many amazing people and been so many places and loved so many characters. And thank you to everyone who buys my books and has made this dream possible.

    THIS October, something especially exciting is happening on the 28th. Do you know what it is? You probably do. Go ahead, guess. If you said “the release of ALL BROKE DOWN”, you’re right!!!

     
    Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one.
    Environmental issues, civil rights, education—you name it, she’s probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail for a few hours, she meets Silas Moore. He’s in for a different kind of fighting. And though he’s arrogant and not at all her type, she can’t help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause.
    Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it’s trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He’s met girls like her before—fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn’t think he’s broken, and he definitely doesn’t need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about, his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help.
    Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all.
    YOU GUYS. I feel like a broken record because I keep saying this – but I am SO EXCITED for you to read this book. It’s the longest one I’ve written so far, and the steamiest *blush*. If you’re like me, you’re looking at your calendar and thinking “But the 28th is so far awaaaaaaaayyyyy.” But there’s a lot you can do between now and then: You can add it on Goodreads! You can pre-order on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and iTunes! You can even pre-order a SIGNED copy through Word Bookstores!
     AND, once you’ve pre-ordered your copy, you can enter your information HERE and you’ll get an official Rusk University “Back to School” kit, including a Rusk University folder, a pen, some temporary tattoos and more! 

    A few days ago, I issued a challenge to you and said that as soon as All Broke Down got to 3800 adds on Goodreads, I would post the first chapter. And guess what? We made it! So….without further ado….I am pleased to share with you the FIRST CHAPTER OF ALL BROKE DOWN!!!

    UPDATE: All Broke Down hit 4200 adds on goodreads – which means you get chapters one AND two!! 😀

    And, if you STILL can’t wait for October 28, you can read ALL of the teasers I’ve posted for All Broke Down so far!

    From the New Adult Day FB Party: October 2 – Dylan’s POV
    “I really am sorry. I promise I won’t make you—”

    I don’t get the rest of my thought out because he sits up on one elbow, grips the back of my neck, and bends over to cover my mouth with his. His lips are warm, and when I don’t immediately open my mouth, he nips my bottom lip. I suck in a breath, and his tongue sweeps past my lips. My whole body braces for the onslaught that is kissing Silas Moore, but this time, he’s soft and sweet and patient, like we have all the time in the world. When I follow his tongue back into his mouth, he groans. The sound vibrates against me, and the sensation echoes out over the rest of my body. I shiver, and he pulls back until I feel only his breath against me.

    “I told you I would shut you up the next time you apologized.”

    He slides his hand around to cup my jaw and kisses me again. Once. Twice. And a third time. Hard. Then soft. Just my bottom lip. The corner of my mouth. His lips play over mine like he’s trying to uncover every possible way to kiss me and check them off the list one by one. I open my mouth immediately when his tongue flicks out, but I taste him for only a second before he pulls away, wincing. He falls back against his pillow, and I notice for the first time that one of his cold packs has fallen on the floor, and the other is lost somewhere in the couch.

    “Why didn’t you tell me you were hurting?”

    “Because then I would have had to stop.” 

     Teaser Tuesday: September 30 – Dylan’s POV

    He lifts himself off me and stands next to the couch. When he offers his hand, I take it, and he leads me up the stairs to his room. He closes the door once he has me inside, and a trickle of nerves bubbles up in my chest.

    I need something, anything to say. “I didn’t expect your room to be clean.”

    He shrugs and reaches up to tuck my hair behind my ears.

    “I’ve not had much in my life that is just mine. Makes you determined to take care of what you have while you have it.”

    “You take care of me . . . have from the night we met.”

    His hand pauses in combing through my hair, gripping tight. “Are you saying you’re mine?”

    Teaser Tuesday: September 23 – Dylan’s POV

    He warns me, “You don’t want to give me free rein here, baby.”

    “That’s exactly what I want.”

    “I don’t think you understand just what I want to do to you. You don’t want to be mine, but if you gave me my way, I’d own every part of you. I’d make sure you could never look at or touch your own body without remembering what I did to it. I’d take and take and when you think there’s nothing left, I’d take a little more. I’m okay with being selfish where you’re concerned.”
     

     Teaser Tuesday: September 16 – Silas’ POV

    I keep her steady with my hands at her waist and say, “I’ll make you a deal. A question for a kiss.”

    Tentatively, she lays her palms against my shoulders. They rest there, her grip light and casual. She ponders my offer for a moment, and it drives me mad that she can do that while our hips are inches away from alignment.

    “Okay then. Are you—”

    I cut her off. “Not so fast, Dylan Brenner. I’ve already answered one question. We’ve got to settle up first.”

    I wrap her braid around my hand like I’ve been waiting to do all night, and I use it to pull her head back just enough that I can crush my mouth against hers.

    Teaser Tuesday: September 9 – Dylan’s POV

    I ring the doorbell again, and then raise my hand to knock for good measure, but before my knuckles meet the wood, the door is ripped backward and I hear a gruff, “What?”

    I hear his question, but my brain is a little stuck on the fact that Silas is wearing only a towel around his waist and is dripping water all over the floor. I open my mouth to say something, anything, but then I get distracted watching a bead of water slope down over one pectoral muscle. He has a massive geometric tattoo that starts on his shoulder and continues onto his chest. I watch that same bead of water cut through the black lines of his tattoo and escape into the valley down the middle of his abdomen.

    Then it falls below the line of his towel, and I’m just standing there, staring at the one part of his body that’s covered, and if there was an ounce of supernatural ability in me, that towel might have accidentally fallen to the ground.

    But alas, I am not supernatural. Though his abs might be.

    I’m still staring at his crotch when he asks, “You need something?”

    “Oh!” I snap my head up, a blush exploding across my face. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to keep . . .” That’s probably one sentence I’m better off not finishing. “I didn’t mean to.”

    Teaser Tuesday: September 2 – Dylan’s POV








    August 27 – Dylan’s POV

    “Dylan?”
    I turn.
    “He was wrong about the other thing, though.”
    “What other thing?”
    “If they hadn’t walked in . . . I wouldn’t have been done with you. Once never would have been enough.”
    I leave.
    I leave before I give in to the need to touch him again, to coax that look back to life. I leave before I fulfill my own prophecy and dive headfirst into something that could ruin me. Ruin us both.
    It’s not until I’m climbing back into my car that I realize that I didn’t get my underwear back.
    I drop my head against the steering wheel and groan. So much for keeping things simple. “You are in so much trouble, Dylan Brenner.”
    And trouble’s name is Silas Moore.


    August 20 – Silas’ POV

    I grip the counter on either side of her and push forward. Her arms bend until they’re trapped between our chests. I lean in until our mouths are inches apart, until I can taste her breath.

    Quietly, I ask. “You want me, Dylan?”

    She sucks her bottom lip between her teeth for a second, and when she lets go, it’s wet and rosy, and I want to pull it between my teeth, too.

    “You don’t have to have everything figured out. God knows, I don’t. I’m just asking about right now, in this moment. Do you want me?”

    Instead of trying to push me away again, the hands on my chest smooth upward. Then slowly, she slides her hands around my neck until my chest is flat against that smooth, silky shirt.

    “Of course I want you. Have you seen you?”

    “I see you.”

    She swallows, and her eyes bore into mine when she replies, “Yeah, I think you do.”

    I pull away enough to pop open another button, revealing the top of her cleavage. She shifts closer, and she’s soft everywhere I’m hard, and the friction turns my spine into a live wire.

    “For the record, I still think this might be a bad idea.”

    “For the record, I think it’s the best idea I’ve ever had.”

    From Street Team announcement post – Silas’ POV

    I give in to the itch to touch her and start at her bare shoulder, dragging a finger along until I can curve my whole hand around the back of her neck.
    “You’re gonna have to stop trying to analyze me. I’m really not that complicated.”
    For a girl like her, analyzing is step one. Fixing me would be step two.
    She leans her head to the side, and my hand falls away from her neck.
    “Tell me about the fight tonight.”
    And so it begins. “Why?”
    “Tell me about the fight. Let me clean up your hands. And then, I promise to let you teach me how to party. Or whatever.”
    I feel like I’ve just stepped into a courtroom, and am being outnegotiated.
    “So we’re making deals, are we?”
    She smiles. “I suppose we are.”
    I reach up again, and this time she doesn’t pull away when I curl my fingers around the back of her neck. I brush my thumb over her pulse point . . . feel that thin, vulnerable skin, and fuck, beneath that bossy exterior, I can see her nerves. But they’re different now. She doesn’t look scared or uncomfortable. Her heart is racing, blood pulsing fast beneath my finger, and she’s taking these tiny sharp breaths. It turns me on in a way I don’t even understand. Normally, the skittish, inexperienced types send me running. But the thought of teaching her anything makes my jeans feel too tight. I want her on her back in my bed, legs spread wide, eyes big and blue, lips parted, mouth babbling that nervous nonsense until I make her forget what she’s saying, forget how to talk altogether.
    I want to forget myself in her, too, steal some of her sunshine, and give this pristine, perfect girl a taste of what it’s like to get a little dirty.



     

    The One with the INSPIRE Cover!!!

     So, you may have heard the news….I’m writing a New Adult Paranormal series!! AND today is the day I get to share the cover AND release date with you! The book will be releasing in e-book December 15th! With a print edition to follow. 


    I am so unbelievably excited about this book. Most of you probably don’t know this, but Losing It was actually the first contemporary book I’d ever written. All of my manuscripts prior to that had had some element of fantasy or the supernatural. I wrote Losing It because I’d needed a break from my current project, and… well, the rest is history. It’s been a wild ride, and I certainly have no intentions to stop writing my New Adult contemporary romances, but I am eager to add a little magic back into my writing life.

    I know you guys are really just here to see the cover, so I’ll cut straight to the point, and we’ll talk after… kay? Kay.

    First up, here’s the book summary for book one in my two book NA Paranormal series. 

    INSPIRE by Cora Carmack
    Coming December 15th, 2014

    Kalliope lives with one purpose.

    To inspire.

    As an immortal muse, she doesn’t have any other choice. It’s part of how she was made. Musicians, artists, actors—they use her to advance their art, and she uses them to survive. She moves from one artist to the next, never staying long enough to get attached. But all she wants is a different life— a normal one. She’s spent thousands of years living lie after lie, and now she’s ready for something real.

    Sweet, sexy, and steady, Wilder Bell feels more real than anything else in her long existence. And most importantly… he’s not an artist. He doesn’t want her for her ability. But she can’t turn off the way she influences people, not even to save a man she might love. Because in small doses, she can help make something beautiful, but her ability has just as much capacity to destroy as it does to create. The longer she stays, the more obsessed Wilder will become. It’s happened before, and it never turns out well for the mortal.

    Her presence may inspire genius.

    But it breeds madness, too.

    EEEEEEP!!! Look at that gorgeous cover made by VLC productions! I’m in love with the girl and the font and the fact that they’re holding up the title! I just love everything about it. And I think it fits the tone of the book so well! This book still has plenty of my normal witty and flirty dialogue, but it also takes a much darker turn naturally. I wanted to talk about the dark and light side to creativity and the dark and light side of beauty. And I think this cover captures that perfectly.  

     I am SO friggin’ excited for this book, you guys. Like you don’t even know. You can already add it on Goodreads!

    Or you can pre-order now exclusively through iBooks! http://bit.do/inspireCC. It will be available across all online retailers on release day. 

    I can’t really put into words how much I care about this book. I’ve been lucky the past few years to be able to chase my dreams, and this is the next big dream for me. Most of the books that have shaped me as a person are fantasy. Most of the authors I idolize write fantasy. It’s those kinds of stories that first kindled my love for writing, and I’m so eager to finally be able to share this side of myself with you all.

    I am so very grateful for your support and excitement. It means more to me than you can possibly know. And please, consider sharing this blog post with any friends you think might be interested in INSPIRE. 


     
    And now… because you’re awesome (and I love love love you), here is the VERY FIRST sneak peek of Wilder and Kalli:
    (P.S. This is totally unedited. So, any mistakes are all on me).  
    He gives me that already familiar expression of doubt, and I laugh. “Why do you bother asking me questions if you’re not going to believe what I say?”

    “Because maybe one time you’ll slip up and tell me the truth.”
    “My feet are fine, and I’m not drunk.” I slide out of the car to prove my statement, but I know it’s a mistake the second my sore feet hit concrete. I try to hide my wince, but it’s not exactly something one controls with conscious thought, so instead my face ends up doing this weird twitch thing, and he gives me a knowing smile that makes me want to punch him. Or kiss him.
    Maybe a little of both.
    I keep my chin up and take a few steps past him, enough to push the door closed behind me. I turn, intending to head for his door with whatever dignity I can manage to scrape up. I take two hobbling steps before he’s at my side, sweeping me up into his arms.
    Dignity is long gone when I squeak and try to hold onto him with one arm while desperately yanking on the hem of my dress with the other.
    “No one’s around but me,” he murmurs. The side of my breast is smashed up against his chest, and the vibrations when he speaks move through me, distracting me from my panic. “And I promise not to look.”
    I don’t even answer him. I haven’t the slightest clue what to say.
    Me. At a loss for words. I spent centuries learning how to speak to men, how to capture their interest, how to maneuver in their world, and now I’m undone by this dichotomy of a man and his not quite smile.
    “Hold on to me,” He says, and I wrap both arms around his neck in answer. He drops the hand at my back to search for his keys, and I tighten my arms around him, drawing myself closer to his chest. I catch my breath at the sensation, glad for the thickness of his leather jacket that hides the way my breasts have become swollen and tight from the closeness.
    I hear the jingle of keys, but I’m not sure how he manages to get the door open because his eyes never leave mine. Our faces are so close together that when he leans forward to push the door open, my lips accidentally brush his jaw. He sucks in a breath and closes his eyes. Stepping over the threshold, he closes the door behind us, and I don’t think. I just act.
    Before he can lower my feet down to the gray carpet below me, I tilt my chin up and touch my mouth to his. His arm returns to my back, his fingers curling around my side, but other than that, he doesn’t move. Doesn’t kiss me back.
    I press a little harder, willing him to respond because if he doesn’t… if I read all of this wrong… gods that would be the icing on the terrible fucking cake that is this night.
    I pull back, already squirming in an attempt to get him to put me down.
    “I’m sorry. I—“
    He drops my legs, but loops that arm around my waist too, keeping me up and against him, my toes still off the floor. I don’t look up at him and he says, “Kalli.”
    His voice. It’s so smooth and warm, and I just want him to keep talking to me. I could forget everything about tonight, ignore it all to listen to his voice.
    “You’re sober?” he asks.
    He must take my scowl as truth enough because as soon as I open my mouth to reply, his lips slam into mine, hot and hard.

     Well! There’s your first look at INSPIRE. Make sure you add the book on Goodreads, and mark your calendars for Dec. 15th! And I’ll hopefully have some pre-order news for you soon!

    In Awkward <3,

    Cora